WA’s Silverfern IT secures outback health service with WatchGuard

WA’s Silverfern IT secures outback health service with WatchGuard

Deployed WatchGuard FireBox M370 appliances across remote Kimberley region

Australia`s outback Kimberley region

Australia`s outback Kimberley region

Credit: Dreamstime

Perth-based service provider Silverfern IT has overhauled the legacy data security systems for an outback Aboriginal medical service.

The WatchGuard partner stepped in reconfigure the security infrastructure at Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) after the centres’ critical systems became overwhelmed following its migration to Microsoft Office 365 

Over a six-month period, Silverfern deployed WatchGuard FireBox M370 appliances at the KAMS headquarters and FireBox T35 appliances for smaller, remote locations, in addition to the vendor’s Total Security Suite.

“Our data network underpins everything that we do,” says Shane Dahlstrom, KAMS executive manager of ICT Services. “It’s a critical part of delivering health and medical services to residents across the region.”

Headquartered in Broome, KAMS is an Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation that supports around 12 healthcare providers in Australia’s Kimberley region

The organisation also provides back-end services in finance and accounting, corporate services, IT support, training and education. 

Having experienced accelerated growth over recent years, the KAMS IT team found its data security tools were no longer providing the levels of protection required.

According to KAMS, its firewalls were complex and difficult to manage and there were gaps when it came to securing traffic to and from remote locations.

“We didn’t really have a strategic approach to security,” Dahlstrom said. “We had some Linux-based boxes with command-line interfaces installed and, while this had provided some protection, we realised that it was far from ideal.

“Also, there was only one person in our IT team who could drive the system without needing to check the manual for the proper commands. This was a clear weakness and something that we had to overcome.”

The need for a new solution became critical following KAMS’ roll-out of Microsoft Office 365, as the legacy security equipment struggled to cope with the required traffic.

Since the deployment, KAMS claimed its configuration and management had become “significantly” easier, having reduced the need to travel to remote locations. 

“If we do need to replace a device, it can be preconfigured and then simply connected to the network on delivery,” Dahlstrom said. “Monitoring and management can then be done from our HQ.”

It also claimed to have seen improved security around medical records, which are stored in a Perth-based data centre and channelled through WatchGuard platform.

In addition, the migration also saw Silverfern remove enterprise antivirus tools from endpoint devices, improving their performance.

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Tags watchguardFireBoxSilverfernKimberley Aboriginal Medical Services

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